Expedia Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since being picked to lead Uber Technologies Inc.
“Uber is a company that is redefining the transportation industry on a global basis. To be part of that story is something that is interesting and would be a real privilege,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview at Expedia’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. “Are there difficulties? Are there complexities? Are there challenges? Absolutely, but that’s also what makes it fun. I am not in this to coast. I’m in it to get my hands dirty and build a team and do something that people will look back on with tons of satisfaction.”
Khosrowshahi will replace Travis Kalanick, who resigned as Uber CEO on June 20, as head of the ride-hailing business. The San Francisco-based company has been through an exhausting 2017 so far with a string of self-inflicted scandals and a contentious CEO search. Khosrowshahi emerged as the dark horse in that process, beating out more well known candidates such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Meg Whitman and General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt.
Khosrowshahi said he didn’t seek the job at Uber: “This is not something I was looking for. I love Expedia. I was fully intending to stay here. It’s definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Expedia’s stock has fallen 2.9% since news of Khosrowshahi’s expected departure. He said, “I view daily short term stock volatility as really about sentiment.” He said he expects a replacement CEO “sooner rather than later.”